23/01/2023 | Press releases

‘I absolutely love my job and am proud to be a nurse’

A former healthcare assistant (HCA) who inherited a passion for caring from her mum has spoken of her pride after achieving her dream and qualifying as a nurse.

Becky Ward fell in love with looking after others while helping her mother care for patients with dementia when she was young.

From that point on, the 38-year-old wanted nothing more than to become a nurse, but feared she had missed her opportunity after going into admin when she left school.

However, everything changed when Becky joined the team at Ipswich Hospital as an HCA and began exploring opportunities for further study. She has now completed a three-year degree at the University of Suffolk and qualified as a registered nurse in September.

Becky is now thoroughly enjoying her job on the hospital’s surgical assessment unit, and has shared her story in the hope of inspiring others.

“I used to help my mum feed patients and do the tea round when I was young and loved it so much that I even started going in during the school holidays to help out,” said Becky, who grew up in Cambridgeshire.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I was worried that my time may have passed and that I should’ve pursued it straight after school. At the time I was working as an HCA and although it was incredibly rewarding, I really wanted to learn more and progress. When I found out that there were still ways I could get into nursing, it was amazing.”

Becky initially completed an access course at Suffolk New College while continuing to work on the bank for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Ipswich Hospital. She then went onto complete her degree before earning her nursing pin in the autumn.

“I absolutely love my job and am extremely proud to be a nurse and of the things I have achieved,” said Becky. “Like every newly-qualified nurse, I felt nervous at first, but the support at the hospital is great and I am quickly building up confidence.

“I am now a passionate advocate for adult learning. If I see an HCA who has that desire to progress, I try and encourage them to take the first steps towards furthering their career. I am proof that you’re never too old to start.”

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